A man in his 30s underwent plastic surgery to avoid arrest after stealing W4.7 billion from his employer (US$1=W1,086).
Police in Asan, South Chungcheong Province on Thursday said the man identified only by his surname Yoon, who worked in the finance department of a local semiconductor firm, has now been arrested for embezzlement.
Police said Yoon buried W1.6 billion of the stolen money at a mountain near his hometown in South Jeolla Province and stashed away another W1.15 billion in a safe house in another part of the province.
Yoon had already spent W610 million on a Mercedes sedan, his safe houses, plastic surgery and entertainment.
He began working for the chipmaker in 2011 and opened six bank accounts under his name last year. On Jan. 4, he started transferring company money into his own accounts W200 million at a time.
It took him two days to transfer the W4.7 billion into his accounts. He then went to Seoul and withdrew W3.36 billion in cash but was prevented from withdrawing the rest when his employer detected the crime and alerted the banks.
The company also informed police immediately and issued a W100 million bounty for Yoon's capture. Once police began looking for him, Yoon went to Gwangju. He rented a flat using the name of a friend and installed several surveillance cameras to monitor approaching visitors. He even went under the knife on Jan. 21 in order to throw pursuers off his scent, spending W5 million to make his eyes bigger, a nose job and a face lift.
"Even his former colleagues didn't recognize him," said Koh Wook-hwan at the Asan police department.
Police also arrested two other men on charges of helping Yoon avoid arrest by assisting him with the purchase of a mobile phone and car and in renting the safe houses.
He was finally arrested on Wednesday in a villa in South Chungcheong Province he had borrowed under a relative's name.